Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Japanese Te Iru

Japanese Te Iru

Ratings: (0)|Views: 536|Likes:
Published by g0nchan
Grammar and meaning of -te iru explained
Grammar and meaning of -te iru explained

More info:

Published by: g0nchan on Sep 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

08/04/2011

pdf

text

original

 
1
The Ambiguity of the
-te iru
Form in Japanese
*
Toshiyuki Ogihara
Abstract
This article presents a formal semantic account of the ambiguity associated withthe
-te iru
construction in Japanese. This construction is known to receive at leasttwo distinct interpretations: on-going process interpretations analogous to theEnglish progressive and so-called resultative interpretations. The latter are sub-classified by some researchers into concrete result state readings and experientialstate readings. Based upon the distributional properties of adverbials, we suggestthat progressive interpretations of 
DURATIVE VERBS
and concrete result stateinterpretations of 
INSTANTANEOUS VERBS
should be grouped together, as opposedto experiential readings of 
DURATIVE
or
INSTANTANEOUS VERBS
. To account forthe distinction between these two types of interpretation, the proposed systemanalyzes the
-te iru
form into the morpheme
-te
, which is claimed to bear a perfectfeature, and the aspectual auxiliary
iru
. Our proposal for the aspectual auxiliary
iru
is an extension of Landman’s (1992) proposal and offers a unified account of the multiple interpretations of 
-te iru
on the basis of a new analysis of 
INSTANTANEOUS VERBS
.
1. Introduction
 
2In this article, we will discuss the semantics of the
-te iru
form in Japanese andpropose an account of its multiple interpretations in a formal semantic framework.Kindaichi (1950) points out that the
-te iru
form in Japanese is ambiguousbetween two interpretations. Consider the following examples:(1)a.Taroo-waimaie-o tate-te iru.Taro-Topnowhouse-Accbuild-
TE IRU
-Pres‘Taro is now building a house.’b.Hito-gaasoko-desin-de iru.
1
person-Nomthere-atdie-
TE IRU
-Pres‘There is a body there.’ (Lit.: ‘A man is dead there.’)If we assumed that the
-te iru
form in Japanese has exactly the same meaning asthe English progressive, we would predict that (1a–b) translate into English as(2a–b).(2)a.Taro is building a house.b.A man is dying.Both (1a) and (2a) have an on-going process interpretation and fail to entail thatTaro will eventually finish building a house. On the other hand, (1b) and (2b) donot share the same meaning. In fact, they have opposite entailments. (1b) entailsthat the man is dead, whereas (2b) entails that the man is not (yet) dead. (1b) issaid to have a result state (
kekka zanzon
, literally ‘result remain’) interpretation.
 
3Given that
-te iru
and
be -ing
produce the same interpretation in (1a) and (2a), it issurprising that they yield opposite entailments in (1b) and (2b). The interpretationof (1b) somewhat resembles that of 
The man has died 
, but its “main focus”(however it is analyzed formally) is the current result state, rather than the pastevent that produced this state. The states described by the
-te iru
form are oftenconcrete ones best described in English by the adjectival use of past participles.Here are some examples of the result state use of the
-te iru
form along with theirEnglish translations with past participles.
2
(3)a.Ko-noha-gaoti-te iru.tree-Genleaf-Nomfall-
TE IRU
-Pres‘There are fallen leaves (on the ground).’b.Sonoronbun-wasyuppansa-re-te iru.thatpaper-Toppublish-
PASS
-
TE IRU
-Pres‘That paper is published.’c.Ie-gatubure-te iru.house-Nomcollapse-
TE IRU
-Pres‘There is a collapsed house over there.’Kindaichi’s work on aspectual properties of Japanese verbs motivated manyother researchers to work on the same topic. Fujii (1966) points out that somefiner distinctions should be made among the possible interpretations of the
-te iru
form. Consider the following example:

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->